For Christmas my French sister-in-law gave me a recipe book.
So what, you might ask. Well, its in French. Now I haven’t gone near that language since I was 13. My mother, at the time, said:
‘Sure son, you can take Art at ‘O’ Level (the school exam you took at 16 in the 80’s)…so long as you do French too’.
‘But Mum I don’t get French, I can’t (won’t) do it!’
‘Well fine, you have to do Chemistry instead’.
So I took Chemistry (which turned out to be a bloody useless qualification) and never learnt French.
So there I was this weekend with a cookbook that I couldn’t read and a big piece of lamb. Enter the ‘Adventurous Eater’ – an 11 year old with superior Googling skills. I got him to intepret a recipe for lamb. I knew it was lamb because of the picture in the book. Anyway down to business. To create Moroccan Lamb (well its spicy and fruity anyway) you’ll need a bunch of spices and dried fruits and some lamb:
- D’epaule d’agneau – lamb
- Oignons – onions
- Gousses d’ail – garlic cloves
- Gingembre – ginger
- Poivre de Cayenne – cayenne pepper
- Cannelle – cinnamon
- Paprika – paprika
- Poivre noir – black pepper
- Curcuma – turmeric
- Safran – saffron
- d’amandes entieres – flaked almonds
- d’abricots secs moelleux – dried apricots
- You’ll also need some tomatoes and some lamb stock
First you need to get the spices on a plate and get a picture like this:
Then you combine them with a bit of oil and spread 3/4 of the mix all over your piece of lamb (I think mine was half a leg but I can’t remember) and set aside for a while:
Then you fry the garlic and onion in the remaining spice mix:
Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Put some more oil in the pan and sear the lamb all over:
Remove the meat from the pan and put the stock, tomatoes and saffron in it. Boil down for a bit then put the onions and fruits in. Add the meat and some fresh tomato and the almonds:
Cover and put in the oven for a couple of hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone:
If you are a decadent glutton you might want to stick your finger in there and try the marrow. Not that I would – I would never do that. Now serve up. I tried this out with butter bean mash, sour cream and some chopped up coriander (or whatever you want to call that herb):
Now this picture doesn’t really tell the whole story – we need to get an ‘inside shot’, no?
Very juicy. Problem was it was so late by the time it was done no one else was around to eat it. So I made Cottage Pie the next day. And no one ate that either because I put peas in it.